Mirroring the same trend currently being seen at European beauty counters for added skin color without the sun, the NPD Group reports that whereas prestige bronzers made up 6 per cent of the market in 1997, they made up a quarter of sales in 2006 as a percentage of all blushers sold in US department stores.
Likewise bronzers also posted significantly larger growth than normal blushers, registering a 17 per cent increase in the first quarter of this year, compared to a 5 per cent increase in traditional blushers.
"Bronzers provide a way for women to get that golden glow without sacrificing hours in the sun and risking very real damage to their skin," said Karen Grant, senior beauty industry analyst for The NPD Group.
"Bronzers are a great way to jazz up a woman's white, summer wardrobe. Women want light textures in their makeup and bronzers give a woman a new look without a lot of makeup," said Grant.
NPD also says that color is coming into play for eye shadow too, with some of the top shades including Clinique's Touch Base For Eyes in Canvas, MAC's Eyeshadow Small in Shroom, and Chanel's Les Quartre Ombres De Chanel in Stage Light.
Now woman have more choice than ever in this category, with over 800 more colors of eye shadow to muse over, a 25 percent increase in shades since 2003 according to the research. On top of that more brands are getting into the prestige eye shadow arena, with a 66 per cent increase in the number compared to six years ago.
Although added choice is feeding further growth too, with the eye shadow category accompanying foundation as one of only two make-up categories in the US to break the $300m mark.
"The eye shadow category has exceeded total makeup dollar growth almost every year since 1997 and it grew 1.5 times greater than the market in 2005," said Grant. "Women want fun in their beauty products and color brings fun to the forefront."
In total the prestige eye segment was up 10 per cent in 2005, giving it a value of $840m in sales and outpacing the growth for all other prestige make-up categories. This is even more impressive when considered against the fact that overall makeup is the only category that has outperformed the total beauty industry in recent years.